SonyBMG, Six Apart Launch A&R Social Net, Kill Off Demo Tapes

Once upon a time, aspiring rock stars sent dozens of demo tapes to record label bosses in the hope of getting signed. Now, in the age of MySpace, SonyBMG is scrapping that system – the label has partnered with blog software maker Six Apart to offer artists sites that, from next Monday, will be its primary method of hearing unsigned new acts in the UK. “If you want our A&R team to hear your music, then don’t send a CD, REGISTER A BLOG,” the world’s number two record company says.
The company will instead direct budding acts to ColumbiaDemos.co.uk or RCADemos.co.uk, each of which is a landing page for Six Apart’s easy-to-use Vox multimedia blogging software that, upon registration, automatically joins new members with a corresponding “neighborhood” for each of the two label imprints. Label bosses including Columbia MD Mike Smith and SonyBMG Europe CEO Ged Doherty have started their own blogs, one of which says: “We don’t want demo CDs anymore, it takes ages for you to do, they get lost and it’s a waste of plastic.”
But the reason for the launch is more than just eco-friendly. Doherty, in this morning’s Times: